The episodes of NBC’s Chuck are famously named Chuck Versus [insert name of the week]. From Chuck Versus the Intersect [pilot] to Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon [last week’s episode] all the episode names involve Chuck in a contest versus something else.
Episode names we aren’t likely to see (but would love to anyway) are: Chuck Versus the Nielsen Ratings [often suggested by fans] and Chuck Versus Every Other Show on NBC – a new trend created by the relative scarcity of time slot opportunities for shows once Jay Leno is on every Monday through Friday at 10pm.
This has resulted in something neither Bill or I anticipated: fans openly rooting for other shows on NBC to fail so that Chuck‘s chances of renewal increase. Chuck has been a marginal ratings performer for NBC, but because NBC has had so many poor performers, Chuck‘s chances for renewal if not for Jay Leno would be very good. Because of the Leno move, we get Chuck Versus the Bubble.
When Kings debuted to poor ratings last night, instead of Kings fans lamenting the ratings (or people who didn’t like it saying “no surprise there!” we got Chuck fans rejoicing in unison. Lot of comments along the lines of “YAY! KINGS FAIL! GREAT NEWS FOR CHUCK!”
I understand the zero sum game thinking caused by the Leno move, and it’s not unreasonable thinking. That said, I personally don’t like to see fan wars, fans bashing other shows, or fans openly rooting for other shows to fail so their show can live. There’s nothing we can do to stop it other than shut off comments altogether, and I don’t see that happening.
These comments wind up starting chains of Chuck (and its fans) Versus Everybody Else and there isn’t any productive gain in it, although I know it does provide entertainment for some. Though some of you can jump in and out, Bill and I are going to have to live with it for another 6 or 7 weeks until NBC announces its 2009-2010 lineup. Please be patient with us. :-)